TODAY IN HISTORY: Nelson Mandela announces his exit from office

By Drum Digital
15 February 2015

On 15 February 1995, President Nelson Mandela revealed he will not be standing for re-election in 1999.

On 15 February 1995, President Nelson Mandela revealed he will not be standing for re-election in 1999.

Mandela, who was released from prison in February 1990, became the first democratic president of the Republic of South Africa in April 1994.

His announcement would mean stepping down as the African National Congress's (ANC's) and as the country’s president. The struggle icon had taken over as ANC president from Oliver Reginald Tambo in 1991.

Thabo Mbeki, who was not as well known as Mandela at the time, was to replace him as president of the ANC in 1998 and as State President in 1999. Mbeki led the ANC until December 2007, when he lost to Jacob Zuma in Limpopo. When Mandela retired in 2004, he said the now famous words: “don’t call me, I’ll call you.”


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